10 Exciting workouts for the New Year
Tired of the treadmill? Does the stationary bike make you snooze? Bust the boredom of your monotonous workout routine this year! From striptease dancing to working out with your Wii, there are plenty of out-of-the box ways to slim down. So if you're searching for a fresh way to get fit this year, give one -- or all -- of these eclectic exercises a whirl.
Workout #1: Dance that belly off
Belly dancing is an ancient dance form that's popping up as a workout alternative in gyms and dance studios around the country. A typical hour-long class can burn 300 calories and works your core muscles as well as hundreds of other muscles. You'll also perfect your breathing techniques while you belly dance your way fit.
Workout #2: Strip the pounds away
Striptease workouts are a sexy way to slim down through sensual dance moves that'll elevate your heart rate and work up a sexy sweat (no actual stripping of clothing required!). Gyms and dance studios are adding striptease to their class schedules, or you can try an at-home workout with DVDs from S Factor or Urban Striptease.
Workout #3: Hit the pole
Pole dancing is a workout focused on sliding up and down a metal pole to build strength, balance, and flexibility. You'll also burn up to 400 calories an hour and work your abs, legs and butt doing moves like backbends, kicks and slides.
Workout #4: Hula for your health
Hula hooping is a whimsical but effective workout that has you swirling a weighted hoop around your hips, targeting your obliques and the hard-to-tone lower ab area. Check to see if your gym or community center is one of the many facilities offering hooping classes or simply get your hoop and hula yourself slim.
Workout #5: Get in a Wii workout
Wii Fit is Nintendo's super-fun approach to fitness via the company's Wii console. By using a pressure sensitive foot pad that tracks your movements, you can jog down virtual mountain trails, ski jump and get in a session of yoga right in the comfort of your living room. We even have a message board just for Wii Fit users to share tips and help each other to stay on track!
Workout #6: Drum your way fit
It's loud. It's crazy. And it's making noise at a gym near you. Drums Alive! -- the perfect workout for all of you wannabe rock stars out there -- is a combination of percussion and sweat that will have you banging out beats on a stability ball. No need to have rhythym, this workout is more about fun and calorie-burning than keeping a beat.
Workout #7: Make a racquet -- on the beach
When the weather warms up and you're ready to hit the sand, don't forget your tennis racquet. Beach tennis, a workout that blends tennis, beach volleyball and badminton, is the latest sport to hit the shores. Though there is organized leagues around the country, you can play an impromptu game on any shore where a beach volleyball net is set up.
Workout #8: Get lean and mean with boxing
The success of female fighters Laila Ali and Christy Martin along with the Oscar Award-winning movie Million Dollar Baby, has made boxing a popular workout with women. Throwing punches and being fast on your feet shreds calories, delivers ultra-fast full-body results, and is a superior stress buster. Best yet, boxing can double as a great way to learn self-defense.
Workout #9: Kettlebell fitness
Kettlebells are solid cast iron balls with handles that work your entire body as you swing them through dynamic yet controlled exercises. Instead of isolating single muscles or single muscle groups, kettlebell training works your entire body and gets you in shape quick. Look for kettlebell classes at your local health club or buy a kettlebell to use at home.
Workout #10: Anti-gravity yoga
Yoga is a fabulous full-body workout by itself, but going through yoga poses while suspended in a hammock will let you lengthen stretches, deepen postures, relieve compressed joints, and align your entire body. Anti-gravity yoga is a fun change from the usual mat-based format.